Tencent-backed China Reading plans IPO of up to US$800 million in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 7:55pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 7:55pm

China Reading, the country’s largest online publishing and e-book company, plans to raise up to US$800 million in an initial public offering in 2017, according to media reports.

The company, which is backed by China’s biggest social network and online entertainment firm Tencent Holdings, is in the process of selecting underwriters for the IPO and is considering Hong Kong as a likely listing venue, according to the International Financing Review, which cited unnamed sources.

China Reading, also known as Yuewen Group, has not yet finalised a total fundraising target, but the deal could range between US$600 million and US$800 million, one of the people told IFR.

Tencent and China Reading did not immediately respond to queries from the Post on the IPO plans.

China Reading was formed from the merger of Tencent Literature and Shanda Cloudary in 2015. The new company became the leader in the online and e-book industry, similar to Amazon in the US.

As of March last year, China Reading had about 10 million e-books in its catalogue, covering more than 200 categories.

China Reading has some 600 million registered readers across its nine e-reading platforms, the company said. About 70 per cent of the company’s revenue comes from e-reading via mobile apps and websites.

Wu Wenhui, chief executive of China Reading, said at a press conference last year that the goal for the company was to make available to users a cloud library that contains all the works of literature in history.

(Additional reporting by Zen Soo)